With the NBA and NFL both in lockouts, a unique sports autumn is upon us. Yes, I know that it looks like the NFL will resolve its labor situation sooner rather than later, but let’s not count our chickens before they hatch. Sure the lockouts affect players, owners, arenas, and fans, but what about companies who rely on these sports to make money? Things like sports bars, beer companies, television networks, and retailers all rely on these sports to keep their business up. What else could possibly be hurting? Sportsbooks.
It has been reported that Nevada’s sportsbooks bring in an estimated $33-38 million annually on NFL wagers. The second best wagers is some combination of pro and college basketball. With pro basketball and football both in lockout, casinos have to be sweating bullets. Furthermore, some casinos are already taking bets on Super Bowl winners and NBA Finals champions. If these games don’t happen, these are bets they will have to return. While sports books won’t go away, if there isn’t NFL and NBA this fall, I could see some consolidation among sister properties, like Ballys and Paris in years passed. I just don’t see a huge market for hockey wagers.
Another group that could be hurting is the professional sports gambler. If my math is correct there are 1,230 NBA games per season and 256 NFL games. That is a lot of missed income opportunities. Furthermore, if these gamblers’ expertise doesn’t extend to college or hockey, they are looking at a lot of missed income. The sports books will continue to make money, even if it’s on a lesser scale, but these guys would be in a world of hurt. So for the sake of the sports books, the professional and casual sports gambler, and especially my sanity, I hope cooler heads prevail and these issues get resolved.
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